Accessibility links

Breaking News

No Apology for Victim of Botched Australian Terror Case

The Australian government says it will not apologize to an Indian doctor, Mohamed Haneef, who was wrongly detained and charged in connection with bomb attacks in Britain in 2007. After an official report on Tuesday concluded that officials had made mistakes at all levels, Haneef demanded an apology and is seeking compensation.

Haneef is seeking an apology from Australia for being mistakenly arrested and charged over a failed plot to detonate bombs in London and Glasgow last year.

The doctor was detained in Australia after his mobile phone SIM card was found on one of the suspects apprehended in the United Kingdom.

His lawyers say he also is demanding damages for his ordeal, which culminated in his work visa being revoked, even though terrorism-related charges against him were dropped.

His lawyer Stephen Keim says he is prepared to go to great lengths to secure justice for his client.

"I'm happy to go through whatever processes the government wants to go through and if an appropriate, negotiated solution can't be obtained then I'm happy to spend part of the next seven or 10 years going through the courts," said Keim.

The Australian government has indicated that it will not apologize to the Indian citizen just yet.

The attorney general, Robert McClelland, has said that doing so might influence a claim for compensation.

McClelland also says that that if anyone should express regret, it ought to be his predecessor in the previous conservative government.

The former attorney-general, Philip Ruddock, who was in charge of the justice department when Haneef was arrested, has said he does not deserve an apology or financial compensation as officials were simply doing their jobs.

But not very well, according to an official report that was released on Tuesday. It found that Australian authorities ignored evidence and botched a high-profile investigation.

Haneef now works in a hospital in Dubai but he has not ruled out a return to Australia one day.